One and done. Olympic hopeful Maya DiRado is currently training for her first — and last — Olympic Games.
“This is it,” the 23-year-old swimmer tells Us Weekly exclusively. “This summer, no matter how it goes, it will be my last summer swimming.”
Despite the sport getting progressively older — at the age of 41, Dara Torres won three silver medals at the 2008 Olympics after becoming the oldest swimmer to ever make Team USA — the Stanford grad says she can’t be persuaded to stick with it.
“I am loving it, but it’s nice to know that this is the last time I’m doing it, it’s very motivating, just to enjoy this year,” she says. “But I don’t think I could keep this training up for another four years. It’s very intense.”
Luckily her teammates have been supportive of her decision. “Everybody understands. Everybody is both scared and excited for their life after swimming,” she says.
As soon as the Games in Rio wrap, DiRado plans to start work as a business analyst at McKinsey.
“I got hired in fall 2014, but I was like, ‘Hey, I’m trying to train for the Olympics.’ And they were like, ‘That’s great! Go for it! We’ll see you in 2016, good luck!’ So they were really incredible about it,” she explains.
For now, the 200M and 400M individual medley swimmer is enjoying swimming with those she’s long admired.
“When I grew up, a lot of people on the team, like Natalie Coughlin and Michael Phelps, they were on the national team and it was crazy to be on my first national team with them and to be traveling with them, and I was like, ‘What am I doing here?’” she says. “But they’re really great. They’re really nice and happy to have new people and super welcoming. It’s been amazing.”